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thank you for supporting it. >> world news is next. >> thanks for joining us. this is "world news." tonight on the brink. is america about to take military action against syria because of chemical weapons? tonight a new warning and u.n. inspectors under fire. saving yosemite, 3,500 firefighters battling the largest wildfire in america, trying to save an american treasure. watch dog, we are looking out for waste of taxpayer dollars. why are two government agencies spending millions on one fish? and american hero, the staff sergeant honored for bravery overseas and the new courageous battle he is fighting for others right here at home.
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good evening. as we come on the air this monday night the united states is about to make a very tough choice. will the u.s. military take action against syria? late today secretary of state john kerry said it is clear chemical weapons were deployed against the syrian people, but who gave that order and would this draw america into another conflict? abc's martha raddatz is in egypt tonight covering the region and the question, what happens now? >> reporter: after coming under repeated sniper fire, u.n. investigators donned helmets and bulletproof vests today and returned to the damascus suburbs to interview survivors of the horrific attack. this is the effect of chemicals, one doctor told the investigators, and tonight the u.s. secretary of state said the u.s. has little doubt that it is true. >> make no mistake, president obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most
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heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people. >> reporter: images from the attack are hard to watch. secretary kerry spoke about the hundreds, maybe thousands of innocents who were killed. >> as a father, i can't get the image out of my head of a man who held up his dead child, wailing while chaos swirled around him, the images of entire families dead in their beds without a drop of blood or a visible wound, bodies contorting in spasms, human suffering that we can never ignore or forget. >> reporter: such strong words from top u.s. officials leave little doubt the u.s. plans military action against syria's assad regime as three key allies, britain, france and turkey, say they will back a military response, u.n. mandate or not. assad himself remains defiant,
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warning that the u.s. would fail as in vietnam. diane, u.s. officials say the purpose of any military strike would be to deter and prevent syria from launching any more chemical weapons attacks which means the military strike would likely come within days or weeks. >> martha, our thanks to you. now a quick look at the u.s. military might in the region. as of tonight four war ships and at least one submarine are off the coast of syria, 100 to 200 miles, and at least half a dozen bases manned by more than 15,000 troops. let's bring in abc news analyst, former fighter pilot, former deputy assistant secretary of state, steve ganyard. is there any chance they are trying to target chemical weapons themselves? >> probably not the chemical weapons themselves. to destroy a chemical weapon you have to get it hot. a bomb is not going to do that. it's going to throw it around
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the surrounding area and you could spread the chemical weapons up to two miles away. we also don't want the sites open so someone can come in and steal them and use them in a terrorist attack later on. >> what do you think the targets will be and what will it take to hit them? >> they will probably have two characteristics. the first characteristic is they want to degrade assad's military capability to a significant degree. they'll probably go after air fields such as the one in damascus and the one that destroyed helicopters and aircraft and want to create a runway so they can not be used against their own people. they'll probably want to do something that's visibly compelling so the world can see that assad has been delivered a punch and we have done something about his use of chemical weapons against civilians. >> thank you, steve ganyard. and right back here at home there are two pictures that say so much about the incredibly brave and exhausted firefighters near yosemite national park. the wind is whipping the flames above the sequoia trees and they
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are treasures, some of the oldest living things on earth. more than 3,000 men and women are inside the flames where the heat can reach more than 800 degrees. abc's neal karlinsky is in the heart of the battle. >> reporter: along the edge of yosemite, a fire now so fierce it's creating its own weather patterns, so-called thunderous pyro cumulus clouds big enough to be seen from space that can alter the wind direction rapidly and potentially trap firefighters. 00 >> we have had up to 43,000 quick plumes. that creates its own weather. >> reporter: firefighters are struggling to protect this huge reservoir which supplies 85 percent of san francisco's water and is being slowly polluted by falling ash. the fire is being spread by crowning where the tops of trees torch, spreading faster than on the ground. >> are you worried that any of these trees are going to come down while you are in there working? >> that's why we train the way we do, keep our eyes up.
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>> reporter: more than 3,500 firefighters are in this battle staged along three flanks. to the northeast, nest and southeast, still about 20 miles from el capitan and other yosemite treasures. their job, dig up dry shrubs, bulldoze the land and set backfires at night, all to rob the biggest flames of more fuel. they also have small teams putting out spot fires that spring up. here's one of the challenges. no fire here, blue sky and then all of a sudden, a spot fire breaks out. it's like this for miles up and down the road. then there is this, a fire team deployed to protect three dozen of yosemite's ancient sequoia trees, some of the oldest living things on earth, in need of protection now. neal karlinsky, abc news, yosemite national park. we also want to show you some dangerous flash flooding tonight in the southwest, including the desert city, las vegas. interstates awash in water and
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cars have been swamped there. and next tonight an exclusive report on a giant new study about all of us who think we can walk and talk on cell phones and text at the same time. it's a brand new report out tonight and a wakeup call for everyone about the serious danger whizzing right by. here's abc's paula faris. >> reporter: this car nearly hits a pedestrian paying more attention to his mobile device than traffic. watch again, the pedestrian so distracted, he even continues to text. crossing the street, distracted by phones, headphones, tablets is a deadly problem. >> they just think it's never going to happen to me. >> reporter: we saw it on the streets of l.a., chicago and d.c., and even in broad daylight pedestrians were too distracted to notice our camera crew in new york. >> you're texting and your head is down and you step onto the street. >> you're completely unaware. >> right.
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>> reporter: watch this man talking on his phone, doesn't even notice he's walking into traffic. this woman, too busy texting. >> busted! do you feel like you were busted? >> yeah. >> reporter: she wasn't the only one. >> how long do you think you were looking down? >> probably the whole time i was crossing the street. >> reporter: the problem is only getting worse, especially among teens. safe kids studied 35,000 and found that fatality rates have increased 25 percent due to device distractions in the last five years. while teens might be the worst offenders, most of us are guilty. >> i feel as if i can focus on the light and the cars at the same time. >> reporter: still most agreed on the dangers. >> do you think you can get out of harm's way with your head down and texting? >> probably not. and next tonight a shocker of a headline about that famous battle of the sexes. millions and millions of americans watched tennis champion billie jean king
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trounce bobby riggs on live tv. now tonight 40 years later an espn report says bobby riggs may have thrown the match to pay off gambling debts. abc's gio benitez on the allegations. >> reporter: it was dubbed the battle of the sexes. september 20, 1973, one of the top tennis players ever, bobby riggs, came out of retirement to challenge one of the world's greatest female players, billie jean king. and lost. now in an espn "outside the lines" exclusive with don van natta, this man is sharing what he says he kept secret for 40 years. hal shawl worked at a florida country club and said that months before the match he over heard two infamous mob bosses in a late night meeting saying riggs owed the mob a gambling debt of more than 100 grand. >> they brought up the name of bobby riggs. he said he will make it look and appear that he is trying his best but billie jean king is overwhelming him.
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>> reporter: billie jean king calls the story ridiculous. >> i would bet my life that bobby never had that discussion. he didn't get involved with mobsters. >> actually, billie, he did. >> reporter: espn sat down with riggs' son larry. >> did he know mafia guys, possibly. is it possible these guys were talking [ bleep ]? yes. is it possible that they talked to him about doing it? possible. >> reporter: we'll never be able to ask riggs himself. he died in 1995. gio benitez, abc news, new york. and up next, our washington watch dog series, looking out for waste of taxpayer dollars. tonight abc's david kerley has some tough questions about something he found, two agencies, one fish, and millions in taxpayer money. reporter: dick stevens -- >> how much more do you all got to go today? >> reporter: -- is a catfish legend in mississippi. >> we can do 400,000. >> reporter: 400,000 in one day? >> pounds, yes. >> that is a lot of fish. >> that is a lot of fish. >> reporter: he's one of the biggest catfish processors in the country and one of the driving forces for getting the
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u.s. department of agriculture to inspect catfish grown here and imported. critics call that a huge waste of taxpayer money. there is one big problem. >> you already have the fda inspecting seafood. >> that's not correct. we have fda but that's a nonexistent inspection. >> reporter: believe it or not, two federal agencies are supposed to inspect the same fish. the usda spent $20 million just for planning those inspections. while there have been concerns about the adequacy of inspections of imported fish in the past, do we need usda inspection, too? >> we would say there is food safety concern. >> no. a catfish is a catfish is a catfish. it's a safe food. >> reporter: david acheson is one of the country's foremost food safety experts who says catfish is not a high risk food and the fda should continue to be in charge of inspecting it. >> the only thing you're left with, it's about politics. >> reporter: why politics? because the additional inspection makes it harder for
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fish importers to get their fish into the u.s., those importers are the american catfish growers main competition. get this, with that $20 million in five years, the usda has not inspected a single fish but have used some of that money to order some really nice pens that proclaim "office of catfish inspection program." we went to jackson, mississippi to see thad cochran, the senator who was responsible for getting the law changed. >> we came out to talk to the senator about the fda and the usda. >> he's definitely the right person to speak with -- >> reporter: but he wasn't there and has declined our request for interview. >> do you think what you've asked for is wasting taxpayer money? >> no, i don't. i think it's well spent. >> reporter: $20 million and counting. david kerley, abc news, mississippi. we want to hear from you so sound off on washington waste. you're invited to do so on our facebook page. today in washington an
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american hero received a medal of honor for uncommon bravery. staff sergeant ty michael carter who embodied courage and action during a deadly fire fight at a remote outpost in afghanistan in 2009. >> it was chaos, the blizzard of bullets and steel into which ty ran, not once or twice or a few times, but perhaps ten times. in doing so, he displayed the essence of true heroism. not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. >> and the president had another reason to praise carter, for talking openly about his struggle with posttraumatic stress disorder to try to help his fellow soldiers. still ahead right here on "world news," donald trump fights back after he's accused of fraud. what has him so riled up even with our reporter tonight. >> i know you're trying to become the next big deal but --
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allegations by some people who took real estate classes at his trump university. here's abc's linzie janis with the public showdown. >> reporter: whether you love him or hate him, donald trump's name sells things, but when he put his name on trump university, promising the tricks of the real estate trade -- >> we teach success. that's what it's all about. >> reporter: new york's attorney general says it was a ripoff. >> they fleeced more than 5,000 people out of more than $40 million. >> reporter: the complaint alleges the school promised instructors hand picked by trump that would give secrets to riches but many students were deep in debt. the school shut down in 2011. bob says he spent $35,000 under the impression he would get secrets, tips and a first crack at investing in trump properties. >> he took my self-respect and embarrassed me. >> reporter: in response trump's
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office forwarded us this survey they say he filled out giving the program an excellent rating. >> if you talk with the investors with madoff before they learned their money was gone, they thought he was the greatest thing that happened to them, same with mr. trump. >> because some of these people are essentially unsatisfied customers -- >> excuse me. we have a 98% satisfaction rate, linzie. i know your trying to become the next big deal so when you say some of the people, why don't you talk about the 98 percent of the people that were happy. >> reporter: tough words from a man who doesn't shy away from a fight. linzie janis, abc news. next here, moments from now, is that prince charles water skiing on a chair? private photos coming up. on a chair? private photos coming up. she's always had a playful side. and you love her for it. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use
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mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™. our "instant index" tonight begins with an encouraging update on the 11-year-old pennsylvania girl, sarah murnaghan, who received the double lung transplant after her family went to court. her first transplant failed but two and a half months after the second operation, we have learned she's expected to go home as early as tomorrow. and we have a stunning daunting piece of news for college students. starting this spring, 200 american colleges will also graduate an exit exam, not
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entrance but exit exam to measure your critical thinking, what you learned. the results will be given to future employers who may have questions about what you did in school. let the debates begin about whether this is a good idea. and the most photographed family in the world in their most unguarded moments, the royal family of england. 20,000 photos taken by a man who was obsessed with tracking them. here prince charles water skiing on a chair in 1970. princess ann falling off her horse during a competition. and is that really the queen dancing the twist? ray belisario followed the royal family's every move from the '50s to the '70s and they were not happy to know that he was always watching. now he's putting them up for auction. when we come back, did you see it, the dancing last night, the good, the great, the really bad, and what created this
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family portrait, had everybody gasping. grasping. en. asping. screech ] ♪ and your favorite songs always playing. [ beeping ] ♪ may you never be stuck behind a stinky truck. [ beeping ] ♪ may your lanes always be clear. [ engine revs ] ♪ and your days be sunny and bright. ♪ may things always go your way. but it's good to be prepared...
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just in case they don't. let's go places, safely. the blisters were oozing, and painful to touch. i woke up to a blistering on my shoulder. i spent 23 years as a deputy united states marshal and i've been pretty well banged up but the worst pain i've experienced was when i had shingles. when i went to the clinic, the nurse told me that it was a result of having had chickenpox. i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that on! symbicort is for copd
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including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. with copd, i thought i'd miss our family tradition. now symbicort significantly improves my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. and that makes a difference in my breathing. today, we're ready for whatever swims our way. ask your doctor about symbicort. i got my first prescription free. call or click to learn more. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
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and now it was the talk of the town today, those music video awards last night, the thrills, the shocks and the what-were-they-thinking. abc's dan harris has the highs and lows. >> reporter: if miley cyrus was looking to take the prize for most attention, even if it was negative attention, she unquestionably succeeded. her tight clothing, twerking, tongue-all-over-the-place performance provoked this reaction back stage, while rihanna sat there, clearly unimpressed. but the reaction shot generating the most buzz tonight is this one of will smith and his family, although they weren't reacting to miley but to lady gaga and her back side. perhaps the busiest 110 seconds
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of the night was the reunion of the 1990s boy band sensation in sync as many noted they were at times a little bit out of sync. ♪ just hit me with the truth >> reporter: this is the band in their heyday. this is them last night. same moves, different bodies. there was buzz of a more heart warming kind. so many people talking tonight about jennifer hudson's surprise appearance walking out on stage as macklemore, ryan lewis and mary lambert were performing "same love", an ode to gay rights. proof that not all buzz is produced through bad behavior. sometimes, sometimes what the world really wants is a little heart.
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dan harris, abc news, new york. >> and we thank you so much for watching tonight. good to begin the week with you. we're always there at "nightline" will be here later and i'll see you right back here again tomorrow night. good night. you right back here again tomorrow night. good night. the wind fire near yosemite, contain smt growing and some people are moving back into homes. >> will the smoke spoil the last get way weekend of the summer? tonight a threat to our water supply.
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>> at 6:00 and only on abc 7 news a kmumpxz error at the golden gate transit district. >> plus a hometown soldier receives the nation's highest military honor and delivers a message to his hometown community. >> it's firefighters have a real challenge on their hands thchl is one of the worst and just under scores how important it is to have funding, to have the talent and leadership at both state, local and federal level and that is happening. >> governor brown takes a look at the rim fire now one of the worst wildfires in california history. good evening. >> tonight we're awaiting new figures on the rim fire, updated twice daily at 8:00
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a.m. and 58 p.m. firefighters did make progress overnight declaring it 15% contained. the flames are still seven to 10 miles way from groves of giant sequoias. you can see conditions are rugged and just under 150,000 acres the rim fire is now the biggest on record in the sierra. abc 7 news reporter john alston kicks off our coverage tonight. >> this is one of the neighborhoods officials are very, very concerned about. there are many houses here in this area this, area has been like an airport. helicopters come by picking up water then dropping it off in hot spots. fixed wing aircraft dropping fire retardant. the fire is about four miles

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC August 26, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2013) New. (CC)

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